Kanz thunders to convincing USRA B-Mod win; rain shortens remaining Mississippi Thunder Speedway program
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May 4, 2012  |  by Dan Bailey

FOUNTAIN CITY, Wis. -- The building anticipation, the visual display, the growling thunder ... and that was just the weather! The racing faithful, on hand Friday night at Mississippi Thunder Speedway, didn’t let cloudy skies and a water-logged forecast keep them away from the Fountain City dirt track; they showed up none-the-less, like Vegas-vacationers who ignore past results and decide to hit the Black Jack tables anyway in search of fun.

Similar to the previous weeks 2012 season opener, also ran under the threat of approaching rain, the crew at Mississippi Thunder Speedway once again put together tight program in an effort to get a full program in before the approaching rains soaked the area. They were so close. Before the early evening skies opened and dumped torrential down-pour of water on the area that had many whispering the name “Noah,” all of the heat races and three of the six scheduled features had been scored in the books.

But even with the knowledge and understanding that the evening’s program needed to be run quickly and efficiently to stay ahead of the weather, the night started with a pause, and staff, fans and racers alike bowed their heads in an opening ceremony designed around remembering a member of the local racing community who had passed away during the off-season.

MaryAnna Passe, mother-in-law of racer Kevin Hager, died of cancer Nov. 8, 2011. According to her wishes, a portion of her ashes were retained as she requested and scattered on the racing surface during the opening ceremonies at the racing facility; through a racing career that has stretched across decades, this was considered home.

“I could see the lightning when I was in the staging area,” said Eric Kanz after turning in an impressive night of driving behind the wheel of his Oak Ridge Fabrication/Sunshine Sanitation #23K USRA B-Mod. “I was hoping it would hold off a little longer.”

The thunder and lighting and rain held off just long enough for Kanz to take the track in the evening’s The Engine Store USRA B-Mod feature, build up a huge lead on the pack and grab the feature win in commanding fashion with the flying of the Yellow and Checkered flags when the skies opened and began drenching the area.

“It’s not how I wanted to win it,” Kanz said. “We have kind of hit on something (with the set-up), so I wanted to keep running. I knew the 95 (Shaun Walski) and 1 (Dan Wheeler) were coming, but I kind of felt it was a pretty good car.”

Kanz had built up a huge lead through the first half of the feature until a caution on lap 10 slowed the action and tightened up the field for the re-start. With the flying of the green flag sending the pack back to racing speeds, Kanz was able to open up an advantage again before the rains came just a few laps later to end the evening.

Wheeler finished second while young Alex Williamson put forth a very impressive run, piloting his Williamson Amusements #15 to a third place finish beating first-heat race winner Walski to the line as the rains dropped.

DOUBLE FEATURES NEXT WEEK

With the rains coming during the features - Friday night’s program is scored as an officially completed race program (grand stand tickets will NOT be valid for next week’s program); however, the features which did not make it to the track Friday night (Winona Auto Sales WISSOT Super Stocks, River City Manufacturing USRA Modifieds & Oak Ridge Fabrication 600 Modifieds) will be make up at the beginning of the program next Friday night.

Brad Waits and Troy Hovey collected heat race wins in the River City Manufacturing USRA Modified action while Shane Kisling and Bob Fort bested the Winona Auto Sales WISSOTA Super Stock heat races. Curt Luhmann backed up last Friday nights Oak Ridge Fabrication 600 Mod feature win by grabbing the first heat checkered flag, with John Griffin making a triumphant return to claim the second heat race win.

Mississippi Thunder Speedway’s 2012 regular season action continues next Friday night May 11th with another “Regular Season” program on the high-banked 1/3-Mile Oval. On-Track action will get underway at 7 PM and be comprised of the three aforementioned make-up features and then a complete program from the River city Manufacturing USRA Modifieds, Winona Auto Sales WISSOTA Super Stocks, The Engine Store USRA B-Mods, Jailhouse Saloon WISSOTA Street Stocks, Oak Ridge Fabrication 600 Mods, and M.T.S. Pure Stocks.

Adult General Admission is $12 with Senior Citizen tickets only $10. Student admission (age 13-18) is just $5 while all children 12 and under will be admitted absolutely free! And don’t forget about the new “Family Friendly Pricing” promotion unveiled last week, The “MTS Family Pass” consisting of Two (2) Adult Tickets AND Up To Three (3) Kid's Tickets (17 & Under) is available for only $25 – a $14 savings over the individual purchase of those same five tickets. New “Family Friendly Pit Pricing” is also available! For more details, visit the official Mississippi Thunder Speedway web site at www.mississippithunder.com.

Mississippi Thunder Speedway is embarking upon its fourth season of top-notch dirt track action in Fountain City, WI. The high-banked 1/3 mile dark-clay oval is quickly becoming known as one of the best speedways in the upper Midwest presenting dirt track racing in a fan and family friendly atmosphere every Friday night throughout the racing season.



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